We all know that, if we're going to be putting in the work that's required to make things happen this year, we cannot neglect our bodies. They are the precious vehicles that help us to turn thoughts and ideas into action.
Yet, if you're anything like I have been in the past, the first things that get compromised when I'm busy are:
- Getting enough sleep
- Healthy eating
Probably in that order!
And it's January. You more than likely overindulged in some festive eating (my excuse, throughout December, was – "it's Christmas!"). And you more than likely didn't move half as much as you usually do (it's cold! I need to rest! Etc. …).
It's almost 2 weeks into the month and the resolution fever has probably started to die down for most but, I want to let you in on a challenge that might just change the course of your year. It's a challenge that I'm embarking on, along with my partner, his sisters and a few of my friends. And I would love for you to join us.
The Health Reset Challenge
In the interests of peak physical and mental performance, there are 3 components that I will be focussing on as part of this challenge. Feel free to join me with 1, 2 or all 3.
Nutrition – The Whole30
Health? It starts with food (which is also the title of an excellent, must-read book, by the people behind the Whole30, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig). If you only do 1 part of this challenge, I encourage you to do this. I've done a stricter version of the Whole30 before and it changed my life quite dramatically.
What: For 30 days straight, with no exceptions, you cut out inflammatory, insulin-spiking, calorie-dense but nutritionally sparse foods.
You get to eat great food – meat, fish, eggs, plenty of vegetables, some fruit and good fats. You don't eat sugar (of any kind – no maple syrup, no honey, no sugar substitutes), grains (including rice, corn, rye, pseudo-grains like quinoa etc.), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts and all forms of soy), dairy, processed foods, alcohol and white potatoes (carb-dense, nutrient poor). It might sound like you'll be missing out on a lot of things but, trust me, this is an opportunity to discover all the delicious real food you've been missing!
Why: You give your body a chance to heal from the effects of these foods and thus learn how they've really been affecting your life and health. You will most likely see physical changes in your body – this may include weight loss, higher energy levels, the disappearance of aches and pains, better skin, the disappearance of symptoms of autoimmune diseases etc. It's quite likely that it will also change your tastes, habits, cravings and general relationship with food.
What: My personal goal is at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week. I will be including a mix of strength training and low-level aerobic activity (for me that's mainly hot yoga classes as they tick both these boxes), as well as a little bit of higher intensity cardio (there are so many great videos on YouTube – no gym membership necessary!). But absolutely no chronic cardio – find out why that's counter-productive. What will your goal be?
Why: Apart from the obvious physical benefits, exercise also boosts the immune system, improves mental health, helps to prevent depression, promotes positive self-esteem. Creating the perfect 'conditions' for enterprise-building!
Resources: Primal Blueprint Workout Plan: The Basics
What: My personal goal is to get 8 hours sleep every night, no matter what! The US National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should be getting 7-9 hours. What's your optimum number of hours? What's your goal?
There are a few things, related to sleep, that I'm going to be challenging myself to do during this 30-day period:
- Establishing a consistent (early) bedtime and a consistent wake-up time (5:30am). 7 days a week!
- Establishing a consistent wind-down routine (reading, reflecting, visualisations)
Why: Enhanced memory performance and creative problem solving skills, increased energy, more resilience to daily stress, strengthened immune system.
We're in this together
I've created a Facebook group for us to share inspiration, resources, encouragement and our experiences along the way. Join in and invite others who are ready to make some positive health changes to facilitate their big dreams.
I am starting my 30 days on Monday and will continue through to the 13th of February. If you cannot start on Monday, join when you can but, do start. Don't put off taking care of one of the most important things you possess.
Let's do this!
- Amazing Results from My Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol experiment
- Going Primal/Paleo: Blogs to Support Your Diet and Lifestyle Transformation
- How to Resist Temptation at Events When Going Primal (or Following Any Other Unconventional Diet) – Fantastic tips from my formerly vegan and vegetarian friend, Crystal
- My 21 Days without Grains and Sugar and 21 Reasons to Try It
- 9 Acts of Kindness
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